CD Rate Trends, Week of May 31, 2022: Most Rates Stable
|CD duration||Last week’s best national rate||Best national rate of the week||To change|
|6 months||1.60% APY||1.60% APY||No change|
|1 year||2.26% ABS||2.26% ABS||No change|
|2 years||2.86% ABS||3.00% APY||+0.14%|
|3 years||3.01% APY||3.25% APY||+0.24%|
|5 years||3.21% APY||3.21% APY||No change|
CD rates have skyrocketed this calendar year as banks and credit unions raise their deposit rates in anticipation of expected Fed rate hikes, or after the hikes have actually taken place, or in some cases, both before and after the increases. As a result, CD prices since the last week of 2021 haven’t just gone up, they’ve multiplied, with this week’s top prices doubling or even tripling what top CDs were paying just a few months ago.
Take 3-year-old CDs, for example. The highest rate on a 3-year CD available nationally was 1.11% at the end of December. Today, the highest-paying 36-month certificate has a rate of 3.25%.
Note that the “highest rates” quoted here are the highest rates available nationwide that Investopedia has identified in its daily rate searches of hundreds of banks and credit unions. This is very different from the national average, which includes all banks offering a CD with this term, including many large banks that pay paltry interest. Thus, the national averages are always quite low, while the best rates you can find while shopping are often 10 to 12 times higher.
The Federal Reserve and CD rates
Every six to eight weeks, the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee holds a two-day meeting. A key outcome of the eight meetings throughout the year is whether the Fed announces whether to raise, lower, or hold the federal funds rate.
The federal funds rate does not directly dictate what banks will pay customers for CD deposits. Instead, the federal funds rate is simply the rate that banks pay each other when they borrow or lend their excess reserves overnight. However, when the fed funds rate is above zero, this induces banks to view consumers as a potentially cheaper source of deposits, which they then try to attract by raising savings, money market and interest rates. some CDS.
At the start of the pandemic, the Fed announced an emergency rate cut to zero percent, to help the economy avoid financial catastrophe. And for two full years, the federal funds rate has remained at zero percent.
But in March 2022, the Fed launched a 0.25% rate hike and signaled it would be the first of many. At the May 2022 meeting, the Fed already announced a second increase, and this time of 0.50%, more spectacular.
Before the Fed makes a rate change, there is usually a reasonable understanding of what it will unveil before actually announcing it. As a result, many banks and credit unions are beginning to make early rate increases, while others are choosing to wait until the rate hike is cemented.
What is the expected trend for CD rates?
The Fed’s rate hikes in March and May were just the beginning. Raising rates is a way to fight inflation, and with US inflation unusually high right now, the Fed publicly plans to implement a series of numerous rate hikes through 2022, and likely into ‘in 2023.
Specifically, the Fed is expected to initiate two more 0.50% rate hikes and then perhaps three more 0.25% hikes before the end of the year. This could push the federal funds rate from its current level of 0.75% to 2.50% or more.
Although the Fed rate does not impact long-term debt like mortgage rates, it does directly influence the direction of short-term consumer debt and deposits. So, with several rate hikes still to come in 2022, one would expect CD rates to rise significantly as this year progresses.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid locking a CD now. But it does mean you might want to consider shorter-term certificates, so you can capitalize on higher rates that will become available in the not-too-distant future. Another option is to consider a special type of CD, sometimes called a “rate increase CD”, which allows you to activate a rate increase on your existing CD if rates increase significantly.
Disclosure of rate collection methodology
Each business day, Investopedia tracks rate data from more than 200 banks and credit unions that offer CDs to customers nationwide and determines the daily ranking of the highest paying certificates for each major term. To qualify for our listings, the institution must be federally insured (FDIC for banks, NCUA for credit unions) and the CD’s minimum initial deposit must not exceed $25,000.